Ruminations on All Saints and All Souls Days

The Roman Catholic church’s yearly liturgical calendar is full of solemnities, feast days, and memorials. If you don’t know the difference between the three categories, you need to consult the Catholic encyclopedia. Anyway, yesterday Catholicism celebrated All Saints Day (a solemnity) and today it marks All Souls Day (a feast day). In brief, on All Saints Day, Catholics pay homage to ALL the “saints” who allegedly merited Heaven by living holy lives. Catholics celebrate the feast days of certain very popular saints throughout the year and All Saints Day gives them a chance to honor all the lower-profile, “bench-warmer” saints who don’t merit individual feast days on the official church calendar.

Today, All Souls Day, Catholics pray for the souls of the deceased who are allegedly in purgatory. Catholicism teaches purgatory is a way station for those souls who need to be cleansed of venial sins or for the remaining temporal punishment for forgiven mortal sins before they can enter Heaven. Catholics arrange for masses to be offered up as indulgences to shorten the time a deceased loved one must endure purgatory. Various other indulgences can also be applied. Many souls do not have family or friends assisting them out of purgatory, so the indulgences from the masses and prayers on All Souls Day are applied to the forgotten suffering souls in purgatory.

[Sigh]

Of course, none of the above is Scriptural. The Bible says everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone is a saint. The Bible speaks of no intermediate cleansing station like purgatory. The doctrine of purgatory denies the ability of Christ to cleanse those who trust in Him as Savior from all sin.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7

In the Gospel of Luke 23:39-43, Jesus told the repentant thief on the cross that He would bring him into Paradise that very day. There is no purgatory for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone.

Most American Catholics have no clue about the meaning of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Yesterday, All Saints Day, was a holy day of obligation, meaning all Catholics were required to attend mass under pain of mortal sin and eternal damnation, but of course, the VAST majority didn’t bother. They can’t make it to mass on Sunday let alone during the week.

Catholics in America are generally very casual about All Saints-All Souls but that’s not the case in some countries. In Poland, the land of my paternal ancestors, they celebrate/reverence All Saints and All Souls Days with a devotion that would shock American Catholics. During “Zaduszki” (the day of prayer for dead souls), the entire country shuts down and millions visit the graves of family members to pray and leave behind flowers and lighted candles. A great amount of superstition and pagan-(c)hristian syncretism marks these two “holy days.” The dead spirits are believed to visit their old homes and warm themselves while enjoying the commemorative meal left for them. A bench is provided close to the hearth with a dish of water, a comb, and a towel so that the dead souls can wash themselves and comb their hair. Household activities are restricted so as not to interfere with the movements of the dead spirits. Bread is brought to the cemeteries along with the flowers and candles for the deceased to enjoy.

For more on the customs of Zaduszki, see here. The citizens of predominantly Catholic countries are notorious for mixing overtly pagan practices with their (c)hristian religion.

What does the Bible say about Purgatory?
https://www.gotquestions.org/purgatory.html

Advertisements

Fragment of “true cross” stolen from a Catholic church?

News sources report a fragment of the “True Cross” TRCwas recently stolen from St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic church in San Francisco, California (photo shows empty case after theft). See one of the news stories far below.

According to legend, Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor, Constantine, traveled to Palestine around 326-328 AD in search of relics associated with Jesus Christ and allegedly discovered the actual cross that Jesus was crucified upon. She supposedly took a portion of the cross back to Constantinople but left the majority of it in Jerusalem. The invading Catholic crusaders of the Middle Ages were said to have taken fragments of the cross from Constantinople back to Europe. Many Catholic churches claimed to have a fragment of the cross. John Calvin coyly remarked:

“There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it.”

What are Christians to make of all of this? Did Helena actually discover Jesus’s actual cross 300 years after His crucifixion? The chances of that happening would have been most assuredly less than zero. But this whole “true cross” business is an interesting example of Catholic syncretism. Roman paganism relied heavily on amulets, talismans, and other good luck charms. Possessing such articles portended good health and prosperity. As the early church transitioned from simple, saving faith in Jesus Christ to institutionalized religious legalism, it borrowed from paganism and proclaimed that relics and other physical objects (candles, holy water, medals, crucifixes, etc.) would obtain blessings for the possessor or worshipper. Consequently, religious objects and ritual became the focus rather than seeking a right spiritual relationship with the Creator. Accumulating a few famous relics assured a church a steady stream of money-paying pilgrims eager to receive blessings.

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:25

Material objects mean nothing. If one person possessed Jesus’s entire cross, His crown of thorns, the whip that shredded His back, and the nails that held Him to the cross it would do them absolutely no good. It’s all worthless garbage. Repent of your sins. Accept Jesus Christ as you Savior by faith.

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21


Relic Believed to Be Fragment of ‘True Cross’ Missing From Catholic Church
http://abcnews.go.com/US/relic-believed-fragment-true-cross-stolen-catholic-church/story?id=41565832

Read more about the legendary “true cross” here.

The “Long Island Medium” is coming to town

I was reading through the local fish wrapper last night and I noticed an advertisementTC for Theresa Caputo, popular television psychic, appearing here in Rochester at the Auditorium Theater on October 6th. I anticipate all of the theater’s 2464 seats will be sold out for this event.

Theresa is the brassy “star” of “Long Island Medium,” a “reality” show featured for six years on cable television’s The Learning Channel (TLC). In each of the 131 episodes of this series, Theresa acts as an intermediary between a person or family and their dead relative or friend.

Theresa describes herself as a devout, practicing Roman Catholic who displays a statue of Mary in her yard and attends mass every Sunday. See here.

Roman Catholicism officially opposes the practice of spiritualism, but on the other hand, the belief system also seems to encourage it. Catholics are taught to pray to dead saints for assistance. See my earlier post regarding this teaching here. Yet, the Bible strongly condemns the practice of communicating with the dead. But since Catholics are encouraged to communicate with dead saints, it’s not hard for many to also make the short leap and attempt to connect with deceased loved ones. The use of sacramental charms and amulets (holy water, medals, scapulars, candles, statues, etc.) may also foster an interest in occultic practices. For centuries, the indigenous peoples of Central and South America have found Catholicism to be the perfect complement to their native pagan superstitions and sorcery.

Theresa Caputo, a practicing Catholic, is a charlatan at best and a channel for demonic activity at worst. I’m inclined to believe a sizable percentage of the ticket buyers for her October show will also be practicing Roman Catholics.

“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.” – Deuteronomy 18:9-14

Catholic friend, turn from ritual, superstition, and dangerous spiritualism and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Jesus is the Answer to your religious striving.

What does the Bible say about necromancy?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-necromancy.html

Rules about “holy water.” Who knew?!?!

Today, I was listening to the April 8, 2016 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talkHW radio show on the Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, out of Buffalo, New York. This particular broadcast featured Catholic priest, Dave Baker, and moderator, Rick Paolini, taking questions from listeners.

During the show, Rick related how he and his wife often volunteered at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. According to Rick, visitors often bring empty receptacles and fill them with blessed “holy water” provided by the shrine from large dispensers kept outside. One winter day, a gentleman showed up with “14 or 15” plastic containers to fill up for his friends, but it was so cold outside that most of the holy water in the shrine’s dispensers had frozen. The gentleman improvised by filling each of his containers with just a little unfrozen holy water, saying he would return home and fill them to the brim with tap water before distributing them to his friends. Rick was troubled by this and asked father Baker if it was copacetic to dilute holy water as the gentleman had done. Father Dave answered that it was okay to dilute holy water, but the ratio of holy water to tap water had to be greater than 50 percent otherwise the holy water would lose its “holiness.”

Huh? Are you serious?

Catholics believe water blessed by a priest can bring great spiritual and temporal benefits to people and objects that come in contact with it. Catholics dip their fingers in holy water fonts at church and make the sign of the cross on their shoulders and forehead. Zealously pious Catholics often have holy water fonts in their homes. At Catholic religious services and events you can often see the officiating cleric blessing the crowd by sprinkling holy water on them.

Holy water has its roots in pagan amulets and talismans. There’s nothing in the Bible that hints at anything like holy water (see the comments section for clarification on Numbers 5). The Bible reader can’t imagine the apostles or disciples of the early church using pagan holy water. Father Dave says holy water can’t be diluted by more than 49 percent tap water. Really? Where do Catholics come up with these exacting ecclesiastical rubrics? The poor, deluded gentleman and his fifteen friends were unknowingly blessing themselves with holy water that had no holiness. Not that the results were ANY different either way.

Friends, none of this scrupulous and superstitious ritualism saves. Salvation is as simple as the story of the thief on the cross. Repent of your sins. Turn to Jesus Christ. Accept Him as your Savior by faith. Then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that teaches His Word without compromise. You’ll never need another drop of holy water ever again. Jesus is all you need!

“I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts, a people who continually provoke Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks.” – Isaiah 65:2-3

Nope, we’re not done with holy water rules quite yet. How do Catholics correctly dispose of holy water? Since holy water is a blessed sacramental, you can’t just flush it down the toilet like a bad clam. Excess holy water or holy water that’s become foul must be poured directly onto the ground or on plants growing outside.

Dreamcatchers?

This morning, I was listening to the January 28, 2016 podcast of the “Calling AllDCA Catholics” talk radio show on The Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, out of Buffalo, New York. “Father” Rick Poblocki and moderator Steve Quebral were taking calls from listeners when Laura from West Seneca, New York phoned in with a question.

Laura’s father had recently passed away and, while rummaging through his personal belongings, she came across a wool sweater with a Native American dreamcatcher and wolf’s head design on the front and back and added it to her own wardrobe. She subsequently wore the sweater to mass and received a compliment but asked Rick if it was appropriate for a Catholic to wear a clothing item with prominent Native American spirituality symbols. Rick responded that wearing such an item was harmless as long as she wore it simply as a memorial to her deceased father and didn’t become enmeshed in Native American spirituality. Laura replied that she had seen an article by EWTN national talk radio host, Johnnette Benkovic, cautioning Catholics to stay away from dreamcatcher paraphernalia entirely because it could possibly be a gateway to the occult. “Father” Rick dismissed Benkovic’s warnings with an uncharitable personal attack on the radio host, saying that since she uses a lot of makeup, visits a hairdresser regularly, and purchases fancy suits as part of her job, then that could possibly demonstrate that she’s a “slave to fashion and the beauty cult and that’s a whole other thing opening up to Satan because it’s vanity.”

Evidently this “dreamcatcher” has become a very popular trinket in our American culture. A Catholic friend of my wife gave her a dreamcatcher several months ago and I understand it’s widely used by the New Age crowd. What is a dreamcatcher? For those outside the loop, here’s a description and photo:

“Dream catchers have long been a part of Native American religion, lore, and art,DCCC originating with the Ojibwe, or Chippewa, and the Lakota, a confederation of seven Sioux tribes. Dream catchers are webbed and beaded circles hung with feathers from the base of the circle. As one might suspect, the purpose of a dream catcher is to catch dreams—that is, to trap bad or evil dreams and channel good dreams to the sleeper. Dream catchers are usually placed in a window or above the bed, allowing the good dreams to drip down the feathers onto the sleeper below.”– from gotquestions.org
http://www.gotquestions.org/dream-catcher-Christian.html

Many Christians might argue that dreamcatchers are just harmless fun; no need to get so uptight about it. But my thought is anyone who has genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and seeks to walk according to His Word by the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit would not want to get involved with the talismans and superstitions of a pagan religion. Let’s put it into perspective. Could anyone possibly imagine Jesus Christ walking around Judea and Galilee with a pagan talisman design on His clothing or having a pagan charm hanging by His bed? You say Jesus is too perfect an example? Okay then, how about the apostle, Paul? The idea is beyond ludicrous. Hey, I don’t want to be the dreamcatcher police but I also think we Christians are WAY too tolerant of this kind of garbage.

Roman Catholicism adopted many pagan practices and superstitions so “Father” Rick’s coddling of dreamcatchers is simply par for the course.

“Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” – Acts 19:18-20

Mary in the window?

Catholics in Marietta, Georgia are flocking to Transfiguration Catholic Church to see one ofMarymg the church’s windows which has developed a case of glass fog that vaguely resembles popular images of Mary.

Is the image formed by the window fog a supernatural phenomenon or is it all merely coincidence?

Mary is barely mentioned in the New Testament or in the writings of the early church. How then did she ascend to the positions of Advocate, Mediatrix, and co-Redemptrix within Catholicism? Historian Geoffrey Ashe examines the connection of Mariolatry to pagan mother goddess worship in his book, “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess.”

http://www.amazon.com/The-Virgin-Marys-Re-emergence-Goddess/dp/0750950641

I accepted Jesus as my Savior many years ago. He’s my Rock, my Redeemer, my Mediator, my Advocate, my Lord, my King, my Light, my Shepherd, my Deliverer, my Life, etc. I don’t need another. I don’t want another. THERE IS NO OTHER! Nowhere in the New Testament is there even the slightest trace of veneration and worship given to Mary that we see in Catholicism. In fact, Jesus gives the believer specific instructions NOT to single out Mary for special devotion: Luke 11:27-28 and Matthew 12:46-50.

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” – Luke 4:8

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.” – Isaiah 42:8

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and leave man-made traditions behind.

************************************

Marietta churchgoers see likeness of Virgin Mary in window

December 23, 2015

http://www.wtoc.com/story/30816416/foggy-silhouette-draws-dozens-to-marietta-church

Questions regarding the “holy doors”

In the next year millions of Catholic pilgrims will pass through the “holy doors” at St.VHD Peter’s Basilica. They have been told if they walk through the “holy doors” they will receive a “plenary indulgence” whereby all of the pending temporal punishment for their confessed sins up to that point will be removed.

Doors at cathedrals throughout the world have also been designated “holy doors” for those who can’t afford the airfare to Rome.

The “holy doors” will all be “closed” on November 20, 2016 and their “power” to remove temporal punishment will end.

But I have a few hypothetical questions for Catholics:

  • Let’s say an American Catholic couple flies to Rome on November 20th to walk through the “holy doors” at St. Peter’s to have their combined 1000 years of suffering in purgatory wiped away. But their plane is delayed on the tarmac. They’re finally able to catch a taxi to St. Peter’s but it’s too late; they arrive only to find the “holy doors” closed and sealed. The disappointed couple takes a taxi to their hotel but they are both killed when the vehicle is involved in a traffic accident. Does the couple still have to spend the full 1000 years in purgatory or did their “good intentions” count for something?
  • Suppose a Catholic woman was in line to walk through the “holy doors” at her diocesan cathedral to have her 300 years of suffering in purgatory removed. When her turn came she started walking towards the doors but collapsed on the floor from a fatal heart attack. Half of her body made it through the “holy doors” but the other half didn’t. Were all 300 years of her temporal punishment removed or only 150 years since only half of her body made it through the “holy doors”?  Pshaw!

In the article below, the pope warns pilgrims to St. Peter’s “holy doors” to be wary of fraudsters. But who is going to warn them about the anti-Scriptural fraud of “holy doors,” indulgences, temporal punishment, and purgatory?

Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Religious traditions and superstition won’t save you.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:1

Praise God for His salvation by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ ALONE!

See my earlier post regarding the “holy doors” here.

**********************************************

Salvation is free, pope says, warning against Holy Year fraudsters

Reuters, December 16, 2015

http://news.yahoo.com/salvation-free-pope-says-warning-against-holy-fraudsters-115331872.html

Psychic fairs aren’t the real danger…by any stretch

This morning I was listening to a Catholic talk radio show podcast (“Calling All Catholics,”Psych 5/22/15, The Stations of the Cross – 101.7FM, Buffalo, NY) and a caller asked “father” Leon Biernat if it was “permissible” for Catholics to attend an event at a facility where psychic fairs had been previously held.

“Father” Biernat acknowledged that demonic spirits might very well still remain at a facility following a psychic fair. He advised the caller to pray to God and ask Him to fill the event space with His presence and rid the area of any lingering evil.

Show host Mike Denz added that the caller could also carry a blessed crucifix, a blessed St. Benedict medal, or a blessed rosary to the event to ward off any evil spirits remaining from the psychic fair.

Last time I read through my Bible I don’t recall a single instance where a follower of God used a talisman good-luck charm. The Catholic church adopted amulets from pagan religions. It may not be quite so blatant in American culture but in other cultures Catholicism is a mixture of apostate Christianity and pagan voodoo worship. Many Catholics are comfortable with psychic fairs, talismans, and necromancy because of the pagan practices within their church.

I would also suggest that psychic fairs aren’t the big danger in this situation. Followers of Spiritualism are a relatively small bunch. No, the real danger is a religious institution which calls itself “Christian,” but mandates its members must merit their salvation by participating in its sacraments and by perfectly obeying the Ten Commandments.

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Galatians 2:21.

The Catholic church has deceived billions of souls over the ages with its false gospel of sacramental grace and merited salvation.

“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” – Galatians 5:4.

Spiritual warfare surrounds us but the major threats are not tarot cards or ouija boards. The major threat is works-righteousness religion masquerading as “Christianity.”

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” – 2 Corinthians 11:14

Bleeding statue and painting in Malaysia

What’s going on in Malaysia? A few weeks ago we had a news story about a statue of Marymarymal in the town of Subang Jaya that was smiling, crying, and even growing taller!

Not to be outdone, a resident of the town of Pandan Indah claims she has a painting of Jesus and a statue of Mary in her home that allegedly bleed oil, blood, and honey!

What are we to make of these Catholic “miracles”? Catholicism has always put GREAT emphasis on the physical over the spiritual. Instead of accepting Jesus Christ by faith through the conviction of God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic church presents Jesus as a statue or a painted figure that is to be worshipped in much the same way pre-Christian pagans worshipped their gods. There’s no acceptance of Christ as Savior, only a pious determination to be more “faithful” and “obedient” to the teachings of the Catholic church. When Catholics talk about “receiving” Christ what they mean is ingesting the consecrated bread wafer. Instead of coming to Jesus for salvation without a single plea of their own, Catholics are taught to go to the more merciful Mary who will help them obey the Ten Commandments so they might possibly merit a place in Heaven.

All these bleeding, smiling, crying, and growing statues are cases of religious fraud at best and demonic manifestations at worst.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24

*********************************************

‘Bleeding’ painting, statue draw Catholics from across Malaysia

By Vincent Lian

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/11/03/Bleeding-statue-painting-house/

Statue of Mary smiles, cries, grows 3″ taller!

Malaysian news agencies are reporting Catholics are flocking to the Church of St. Thomasmaryyyy More in the town of Subang Jaya where it’s alleged a statue of Mary has been smiling, shedding tears, and has grown three remarkable inches taller!

Marian apparitions and miracles are a major part of Catholic lore. For Catholics down through the centuries, the “more-merciful” Mother Mary has often replaced God as the focus of worship and devotion. Instead of acknowledging they are helpless sinners and accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior by simple faith, Catholics turn to Mary, the sacraments, sacramentals, and a host of other contrivances in their quest to become holy enough to merit Heaven.

In pagan religions the life-giving mother goddess was known by a variety of names and was quite often the primary deity of worship. Catholicism “christianized” this very popular goddess by elevating Mary to semi-deity as the “Mother of the Church” and the “channel of all God’s graces.” See my previous blog here for information on historian Geoffrey Ashe’s book, “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess,” regarding the pagan roots of Mariolatry. Humble Mary’s highly-exaggerated role in Catholicism is in marked contrast to her very minor presence in the New Testament. As for statues, nowhere in the Bible does one of God’s followers bow down before an image or statue of the Lord or anyone else. God strictly forbids it (Exodus 20:4-5, Leviticus 26:1, etc.). Statue worship (aka veneration) was another Catholic accommodation to paganism.

“Salvation is found in no one else (but Jesus Christ), for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:27-28

*******************************

Virgin Mary ‘miracle’ draws Catholics to Subang Jaya church
BY P. DIVAKARAN
10/14/15
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/10/13/Virgin-Mary-statue-Catholics/